Remember the bands we used to listen to when we were young? The ones that no one had heard of. The ones that couldn’t get radio play or weren’t on TRL (you remember TRL right?). The ones we had to find out about through friends, mixtapes or actually attending shows. Isn’t it weird that those same bands are now almost everywhere… it’s not a bad thing, but it’s weird.
The first thing that made me think this was when I heard a Phoenix song on a car commercial. Then I heard The Black Keys on some other commercials. Now this isn’t a post about bands selling out. I’m all for bands getting paid so more power to anyone who is cashing checks. But it was surprising to hear bands I listen to on the television. I remember seeing Phoenix in Columbus in front of a hundred (?) people. Now you know they’re banking. Next thing I know, A.F.I. was on sportscenter during some highlight clip. Weird… A.F.I. was supposed to be this band that was… so… underground? Hm. More power to them, cash those checks! So then the other week I see on AOL that the new Crowbar album can be streamed via AOL. CROWBAR? Really? I mean, isn’t AOL for people like… my mom? Why would Crowbar be on AOL? They’re filthy, grungy, southern, metal. Now today I found a SXSW stream of TV On The Radio via AOL. Is it that I’m getting old and the stuff I like is geared towards old people? I don’t think so, but it did get me wondering. And I think the conclusion is that people my age and maybe a little older are in control of making a lot of decisions on the content of what we see. Television ads are made by late twenty/early thirty year olds who think using their favorite band for an ad spot would sound great… and it does. It’s a weird feeling to have knowing that the bands I listened to as a kid that couldn’t get airplay (and let’s be honest… we liked it that way) are all over the media today. I mean, in reality 99% of the bands I listen to will never see real airplay but even that 1% sometimes surprises me. Maybe AOL isn’t just for my mom anymore.